Paul said to the people, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” 1Thessalonians4:11-12
One of the things taken so for granted in our lives today is our voices. Not just the voice of a people but literally our voices, in the sense of our mouths, our tongues. The negative conversations we engage in day to day, the foul information we crave, and the unnecessary garbage we pass on, all unfortunately have many consequences that we likely will never even consider. Often times, such conversations take place to sway attention from ourselves and towards others. While that is the intention of some, the more devastating consequence is that unfortunately it also chips away at our own character each and every time. The act of always sharing another individual’s business without their consent, unbeknownst to the one conversing, takes a huge hit on character and one’s trustworthiness. Although negative conversation is always appealing to somebody and somebody is always willing to listen, the respect for those who continuously bring it dies more and more. But because the passing of such information often times seems harmless, we blindly miss the repercussions of doing so in our lives.
Although it may not be in the same sense of the lives we live as human beings, our words and conversations have lives. They live in us, they breathe through us, and they find comfort within our space. They become a part of who we are. They either become a part of the light we shine or the baggage we carry. They resemble us so much that if someone heard the same conversation elsewhere, it brings us to mind. We become known, not only by our actions, but also by our words. More important, the conversations we often engage in actually become the expectation when others see us coming. Do your conversations find you hiding behind the business of others?
People learn a lot about who we are by our conversations, and to that end, our own conversations create conversations about us. Everything about our lives, even our conversations, tend to form patterns. So it’s not the one small conversation you had that’s so devastating, it’s the bundle of all the small conversations here and there that could form a large dent in your character. And because respect is not something we have for others simply because we want to or because we like them, these kinds of patterns don’t make the cut and will leave us a lot less respected by others.
So when that urge nudges you to converse about the business of others, develop a habit of catching yourself. A lot of times, it really is okay to simply be quiet. Avoid the idle mind as much as possible because that is where all negative urges begin. The more busy we stay being productive and accomplishing the necessities in life, the less likely we’ll find ourselves in the wrong conversations. Staying busy and focused, working, as Paul said, is the way to gain respect from outsiders and it keeps us from being dependent on anybody. Our conversations, even the smallest of them, have a profound effect on the lives we live. They play a role in our personalities and they teach others who we are. Paying attention to ourselves is the effort it will take to monitor our conversations. Monitoring our own conversations is what it will take to keep them positive, encouraging, and uplifting.
What would your conversations look like if you had to write them all down at the end of the day? A matter worth addressing because our conversations say a lot about who we are.
Tawana R Powell
“Life Fulfilled, The Ultimate Goal” (Amazon.com)